The Ten Knots Group is featured in the PATA's online booklet. (Photo courtesy of PATA website)

The Ten Knots Group, which operates luxury resorts in El Nido and Taytay, recently received the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) 2021 Gold Award in the Community and Social Responsibility (CSR) category for its efforts to keep tourism workers employed as environmental protectors despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

A team of 18 international judges bestowed the honor on the initiative, dubbed Be GREEN & Great.

Ten Knots, an Ayala Land, Inc. subsidiary, manages the El Nido island resorts Miniloc, Lagen, Pangulasian, Apulit, and the Lio Tourism Estate. The resorts are also well-known for their environmental initiatives, particularly the Guard, Respect, Educate, El Nido (Be GREEN) campaign.

Mariglo Laririt, Director of Sustainability for the Ten Knots Group, received the PATA Gold Award at a virtual event on September 8, 2021. Laririt said in an interview on Thursday, September 9, that the Be GREEN & Great initiative was critical to keeping resort employees engaged and active even when there were no visitors.

“The people involved were mostly our staff but there were also other community partners. Instead of them not earning any income, we raised funds for green jobs from August to December. Maraming nawalan ng trabaho so we found ways to make sure that our colleagues would have livelihood,” Laririt said.

“The program is also an ecosystem recovery program kasi sinasabi nila during the pandemic, ang nature ay nakapahinga pero actually masyado nang pagod ang nature sa atin na hindi sapat na ‘di na lang gumalaw. We had to do something active to help partially reverse all the damage that humanity has done in the past,” she added.

The business struggled to keep all of its workers, but those who did join up were tasked with coastal clean ups, rescuing and caring for tree seedlings or wildlings, repairing mooring buoys, and monitoring nesting sea turtles.

“Regardless of what department they belonged to, or kahit di marunong magtanim, natuto sila,” Laririt said.

According to Laririt, the PATA Gold Awards is a tough competition made more difficult by the pandemic. Being acknowledged internationally makes them extremely proud and hopeful that it will also inspire other entrepreneurs to uphold their commitment to the environment and tourism colleagues during the pandemic and beyond.

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